But there weren’t that many people, two around one fire, three around another in the distance.
Suddenly, I saw a horse gallop through and I couldn’t stop myself from letting out a delighted giggle as the rider’s cloak streamed behind him, his head topped with a furry hat.
“That is so cool,” I whispered as he took a turn on a winding path well down the incline of the town or city like place and disappeared around a building.
“The switch, it succeeded?” I heard a woman ask and I jumped in surprise and turned.
Standing beside me I saw a woman with gray hair pulled back behind her head. She was wearing a voluminous wool cloak the color of cranberries and it had a collar made of black fur.
Her eyebrows were up. Her face was lined in a way that made her look interesting and was a testimony to the fact she’d laughed much in her long life. Her somewhat faded blue eyes were alert and she was examining me.
“It worked,” I whispered then jumped again when a loud banging came from across the room and I turned my body that direction to see it was someone knocking on a door.
“Sjofn!” a woman yelled from the other side of the door, sounding desperate. “Open the door! We need to speak with you now! Your mother approaches.”
I stared at the door.
My mother approaches.
I couldn’t stop my smile.
“Close this after me,” the woman in the room with me ordered urgently, I looked to her then her eyes moved the length of me and back before she smiled and whispered, “Enjoy The Drakkar. I think you will and more, I think he will enjoy you.”
I blinked at her.
“Sjofn!” Another shout and loud knock, my body jolted again, I looked to the door as the woman behind it shouted, “Please!”
I felt a whoosh and turned again to see the woman in the room with me was gone. I glanced around quickly as more knocking came at the door, more pleas but I was stunned to see I had no company.
Where did she go?
I turned to the window, looked out and down and saw a cranberry cloak streaming around the nearest building then I lost sight of it.
Holy moly, the bitch jumped.
I looked down at the two story fall and heard the begging, “Seeeeooohaaahfin!”
“Shit,” I whispered, grabbed the windows, pulled them to and set the latch. That stopped the arctic gust of air but the cold still came through so I grabbed the heavy curtains on either side and pulled them closed over the window, succeeding in shutting out the draft mainly because the curtains were a thick, voluminous velvet. Nothing was getting through those.
More knocking that was now more like pounding and it didn’t stop so I turned to the room to hurry toward the door but stopped, arrested by what I saw.
Gleaming dark wood everywhere. Dark plank floors covered by thick pile, wool, patterned rugs. An enormous fireplace, the massive mantel carved from cream stone. More deep carvings in the dark wood cornices. The carving on both mantel and molding were pears, apples and oranges with leaves and vines and it was so intricate, even at a glance I saw it was sheer perfection. I could even see dimples in the oranges. With that kind of craftsmanship and that amount of it in the big room, it had to take a hundred artisans a hundred years to do it all.
There was a big bed, four poster, headboard carved with the same motif with an ice blue coverlet that had a silken sheen, a fluffy, winter white blanket folded across the bottom and six fluffy, European square pillows stacked in twos at the head, two dove gray, two winter white, two ice blue. The heavy curtains around the bed also were ice blue.
There was dark wood, heavily carved furniture everywhere. Two nightstands. A big dresser. A long, tall wardrobe. A desk and chair. A full-length, freestanding, oval mirror with the pear, apple, orange, leaf and vine theme at the top and drifting down the sides. A small table with a huge, cushy armchair next to it that I desperately wanted to curl into covered by that fluffy blanket on the bed, it looked that comfortable.
There were pearlescent globed lamps lit not with electricity but flames dancing within on either nightstand, on the desk, on the table by the chair and dotting the walls.
The whole room was freaking amazing. Way cool. Unbelievably cool. I’d seen a lot in my life and I had the money to go for the gusto but I’d never seen anything this amazing.
“Sjofn! Please!” Another call and more pounding at the door so I shook myself out of it and saw a folded piece of paper on the bed.
That must be my note.
I stared at it a second thinking there didn’t look like there was much to it.
I started toward it as I could swear the pounding on the door became kicking. I looked that way but caught a flash of something in my peripheral vision, my head turned and I stopped dead.